By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Just in case the pomp and circumstance of having senior night and homecoming on the same evening wasn’t enough of a show, Fairview’s boys made a nail-biter of what seemed to be headed for a rout with a late fourth-quarter push in Friday’s nightcap.
But Oklahoma Bible Academy’s night that started with a girls loss couldn’t end with a sweep on senior night, right?
Brett Fast scored 14 of his 22 points after halftime to narrow a 12-point Fairview deficit to one point in the fourth quarter, but 2A No. 20 OBA’s Adam Eaton — literally, and perhaps appropriately, named “Mr. OBA” by the end of the night — finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, hitting all 12 free-throw attempts to keep the Yellowjackets at bay in a 59-53 win Friday at OBA.
“It was awesome, the crowd really got into it,” said Eaton, by then out of his jersey and into a suit and tie, the prescribed wardrobe for OBA’s homecoming festivities that finished with him being named king, or, in this case, Mr. OBA. “Two years ago, I think we would have just collapsed at the end. Now we have a lot of leaders, and we made all our free throws going down the stretch and really sealed the deal.”
OBA (15-4), which bid farewell to eight seniors combined on Friday, led 46-34 entering the fourth and 49-39 shortly after, when Fast scored through a foul and completed a three-point play, and after an Eaton miss, hit another layup to pull Fairview (8-12) within 49-44. Joel Kliewer was fouled on a layup attempt after a steal on the Trojans’ next trip, hitting two free throws to narrow the margin to 49-46, and after another OBA miss, Jaden Dillard scored again to complete a 9-0 run with the Yellowjackets down just 49-48 with 3:30 left in the game.
After a Preston Atwood miss, Kliewer missed a baseline jumper to give Fairview the lead and Eaton was fouled after the rebound, hitting two foul shots, and Dylan White added another two free throw makes on OBA’s next trip to put the Trojans up 53-48 and seemingly nip the Fairview rally.
But Dillard banked in a runner and Braxton McCue emerged from a crowd to snare a rebound for the Yellowjackets and set up Fast for a post score on the next trip, bringing the score back to 53-52 with 1:14 left and setting off a back-and-forth of swells and shouts from two sets of bleachers each stuffed to their maximum in OBA’s cozy gym, the Trojans’ fans to the north and a vocal Fairview traveling contingent to the south.
“I’m a believer,” Fast said. “I really thought we had it, but it didn’t quite work out. They hit their free throws, and that’s what it comes down to.”
That away party never would see Fairview take a lead, though. Blaine Whitson rebounded an Atwood miss and laid it in on OBA’s next trip, setting off a 6-1 run to close the game. The Trojans went four-for-four from the free-throw line in the final minute, finishing 17-of-19 in the game.
“They were pretty calm,” said OBA head coach Alan Ford. “We’ve been in this situation before — we don’t like being in that situation — but they responded. They knew who to get the ball to, who our best free-throw shooters are, and with that kind of experience, I don’t have to go through that in every huddle.”
Adrian Moore joined three other seniors — Merritt Suenram, Whitson and Eaton — in the starting lineup and tallied 12 points and six assists for the Trojans, who will finish their regular season with three straight road games, starting with a trip to Class A No. 10 Pond Creek-Hunter on Monday. Fairview hosts 3A No. 12 Alva on Tuesday and will look to snap a four-game slide. The Yellowjackets have lost 10 of 12 since a 6-2 start.
Fairview girls win 14th straight
Oklahoma Bible Academy’s girls had four seniors — Katie Irwin, Michon Austin, Andrea Messenger and Allison Friesen — at their final home game, but the Lady Trojans couldn’t send them off with an upset win, falling 63-34 to 2A No. 2 Fairview on Friday.
OBA (6-13) kept within range early despite an 18-2 Fairview run that put the Lady Jackets up a dozen. But after winning the second quarter to stay in the game, the Lady Trojans couldn’t keep pace in the second half. Fairview (19-1) shot 23-of-45 (51 percent) in the game, forcing 22 OBA turnovers to keep the Lady Trojans down for all but the opening moments of the game.
Baylor Reese scored a game-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and Sadie Mason added 12 points and four steals for the Lady Jackets, winners of 14 straight games.
Junior Erin Coffin provided some excitement for the home crowd after the game was closing in on out-of -reach, but with Fairview’s regulars still in, twice completing three-point plays and finishing fifth a team-best 12 points.
The Lady Trojans’ road hardly gets easier after their third straight loss, following Friday’s defeat with another top-5 opponent on Monday, when they visit undefeated Class A No. 4 Pond Creek-Hunter.
Fairview faces northwest nemesis Alva for the third and final time this regular season, hosting the 3A No. 2 Lady Goldbugs on Tuesday, having split the teams’ two previous meetings.